A blogger that I follow has been writing several posts discounting climate change/global warming. According to his sources, we are instead experiencing a Grand Solar Minimum, which would bring on cooler temperatures (ice age) rather than warmer. He notes the recent climate events (unusual snow and cold) on the West Coast, and the (relatively unpublicized) ice accumulation in Greenland and at the South Pole as being counter-intuitive to global warming.
I was intrigued by his perspective and did a bit of research …
According to NASA, every 11 years or so, sunspots fade away, bringing a period of relative calm known as a “solar minimum.” It’s considered a regular part of the sunspot cycle.
During the late 17th century, an analysis of historic sunspot observations shows the solar activity cycle was interrupted and the sun appeared without sunspots most of the time. The event was called the Maunder Minimum.
According to this article …
The Maunder Minimum falls within the climatically cooler period of the “Little Ice Age”, during which temperatures were particularly low over continents in the Northern hemisphere (especially in winter). It has long been suspected that the low solar activity during the Maunder Minimum was one of the causes of the Little Ice Age, although other factors like a small drop in greenhouse gas concentrations around 1600 and strong volcanic eruptions during that time likely played a role as well.
In one study, it is said that a new Maunder Minimum would lead to a cooling of 0.3°C in the year 2100, depending on assumptions about future emissions. However, physicists believe “a 21st-century Maunder Minimum would only slightly diminish future warming. Moreover, it would be only a temporary effect since all known grand solar minima have only lasted for a few decades.”
Further, the article states …
(E)ven if one multiplied the solar effects by a huge factor of 5 (which is unrealistic), no absolute cooling would take place (the temperatures would be temporarily cooler than the base scenario, but the trends would still be warming).
As regards the increased ice at the South Pole and its effect on climate change, this article offers some perspective … and addresses the question of how Antarctica can be gaining ice mass in a warming world. (Hint: “More snow accumulation is, counterintuitively, a sign of global warming; more precipitation happens when there is more moisture in the air, and more moisture in the air is a product of higher temperatures.”)
One final word. This blogger also mentions that we’re about to be subjected to the planet flipping its magnetic poles (gasp!). While it is a possibility, this article explains why it’s not something to be concerned about.